August 22, 2014, 07:52:52 PM

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Messages - miah

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16
Yeah, thanks for posting these, AlanF. Very helpful indeed!

I shot these two today, male and female mallard ducks and a female red tailed hawk, using the trusty 400 f/5.6 and 5D3. Both photos are heavily cropped, hence the desire to pick up the Tammy.


17
Let's be honest about this whole resale thing; percentages do not tell the whole story. Even if the Tammie lost 50% of its value on the used market, say after 3 years, that means you had use of a very nice 150-600 zoom for 3 years for less than $535 US! The Tammie is not a Canon 600, but $535 is just 4% of the cost of the Big White. I'm a serious hobbyist, not a pro making any significant amount of income from photography, so the Tammie's quality/value--even when factoring in resale--looks like a no-brainer.

This morning, walking on my property here in Colorado, I spotted 5 bald eagles and 2 red-tailed hawks (not to mention some prairie dogs, a coyote and a slew of mule deer). While I didn't have a camera with me, my 400 f/5.6 would not have been long enough to put a significant number of pixels on target. The Tammie, "compact and light" as it is, would have been the tool I needed to capture one or more of these feathered friends. Hmm, maybe I need to get off the pot and place an order, but I'd still like to see a few more sample pics... Are you hearing me AlanF and Don Haines?  ;)

18
I would love a 300mm f/2.8, but to be honest, i would be slapping on a TC almost all the time, so having a native 600mm lens would be ideal. f/8 is a little slow for what i need (forests at dawn/dusk), but i guess this is where the ISO performance of the 5D III should come in....  hmmmmm....  I am extremely interested in this lens! I guess the 4000 Euro i would save on this lens could go to some awesome trips! ;)

F/8 at dawn or dusk will be unusable for anything other than telephoto landscape photography of very still subjects, on a heavy tripod, with mirror lock...along with the longer shutter speed required.  I shoot often at dusk, sometimes at dawn.  If you're wanting a shutter speed faster than say 1/100 second, then you need radically more light than f/8, or even f/5.6.  If you disagree, then perhaps you're referring to shooting more in the "golden hour" than that transition to the "blue hour".  I'm talking about shooting in the half hour when the sun is below the horizon.  My 6D autofocuses like a champ in this gloom with an f/5.6 lens, as does its noise floor.  But I can't expect to shoot action, even with an f/2 lens...let alone f/8 (or specifically an f/6.3 lens that is closed to f/8, as in the case of the Tamron).

F/8 photography of wildlife, is good for bright daylight, and that's about it...unless the animal is asleep.

Huh? So just what faster-than-f/2 lens are you using with your 6D to successfully shoot wildlife action during the "blue hour?" Surely the slow EF 500 and 600 f/4 primes are out, and by this standard so is the EF 300 and 400 f/2.8. Which begs the question: what oh-so-busy critters in your neck of the woods allow you to crawl up beside them and snap away in the twilight with your 50mm f/1.4?

19
Thanks, AlanF, all that's really helpful. Question: How does the overall fit and finish feel? I don't own any Tamron lenses, so other than reading reviews I don't know whether the lens feels solid or like junk. Those are extremes, of course, but I'd like your take on how well this thing might hold up with heavy use out in the field. And will the Tammie, as you originally hoped, become your travel lens of choice?

20
Thanks for posting these shots, AlanF. We all know you're accustomed to the rarified air delivered by the EF 300 f/2.8, so if you think this lens delivers it probably does. I look forward to more images and your overall take on the AF, build quality, etc. after your tests. And personally, I don't want to know "it's a good value for the money." The excellent price is great, and far more in reach than any of the big whites, but I want to know that my time out in the field using the lens is well spent.

21
OK, climber, thanks. I think I have it set up right, now. I didn't realize that as you press and then continue to hold the AF-ON button down it's focusing overrides the ability of the shutter button to initiate focus; the shutter button only initiates metering and the shutter. Cool!

22
apersson850 thanks for your input. On the Tv subject, I'll throw this point into our discussion. While I certainly agree that shutter speed is more important than aperture for BIF, Tv may ask for a wider aperture than your lens can deliver, resulting in inadequate exposure. Let's say you set Tv to 1/2000 and you're sure from previous experience that this is adequately fast to stop the subject. Tv asks the camera for its widest aperture, but f/5.6 just isn't good enough. You preview the resulting shots and they're all horribly underexposed because at that speed and that aperture the available light was just too low. Auto ISO gives the camera an out. It automatically pumps up the ISO (within your predetermined limits) if the first two factors are inadequate to deliver sufficient light.

Like cervantes said, at least Tv allows us to use Exposure Compensation, so sometimes it's a must, though we can continue asking Canon to provide this feature in future firmware. But I would argue that even when using Tv mode over M mode, at least in my limited experience, Auto ISO is the only automatic feature standing between me and a typically underexposed shot. Why underexposed? Because like cervantes I prefer a low ISO and typically set it too low for rapidly changing conditions when I do so manually.

Now, something else came to mind as I read over your advice for using the * button for right-zone focus instead of cervantes shutter button, and then climber chimed in with a way to quickly jump to the center zone. And perhaps this question is best answered by cervantes: apersson850's solution makes more sense to me--and I like climber's addition--because won't actuating the shutter to actually take a picture (after choosing to focus on the left or center zones using the AF-ON or multi-controller, respectively) ALWAYS jump focus back to the right zone? After all, the only way to trip the shutter is to squeeze past the half-way point on the shutter button, the same half-way point that asks the AF to use the right zone. Am I missing something here? If not, apersson850's idea to use the * button for the right zone and climber's suggestion to use the multi-controller for the center zone would allow us to use the shutter button for the one thing it's best at: snapping the photo.

I look forward to your comments!

23
cervantes, you are The Man. I've been searching for a succinct explanation of the 5D3's celebrated AF system with regards to BIF ever since I purchased the body a little over a year ago. Even the Canon tutorials on youtube are far less valuable than your advice. Thank you very, very much. I'm sure this took a fair amount of your time and those of us here on the forum appreciate it.

Your specific advice for AF settings was excellent, but I'd also like to hear your take on some other settings. As I work my way into shooting BIF, alone and without benefit of workshops or books, I've concluded that keeping the shutter speed high enough and aperture wide enough can only be accomplished in Manual mode. Av invariably gives me an unacceptably slow shutter speed (motion blur) while Tv often fails to select an appropriate aperture. That means Auto ISO must jump in there to make sure my defined shutter speed and desired aperture results in a proper exposure.

As previously mentioned by yourself and others, we need Canon to give us a firmware update that allows Exposure Compensation when shooting in M mode and Auto ISO, especially with birds due to the overwhelming brightness of the sky. But given this handicap, would you still advise shooting M and using Auto ISO? And if so, what ISO limits do you like? If not, how else do you approach the speed/aperture/exposure/noise conundrum when it comes to shooting feathered rockets?

ONE MORE QUESTION
I have my C3 parked with the following settings for BIF (in addition to making changes to my AF and AF-ON per your excellent instructions), please review and offer suggestions as this is the fast-dial place from which I start: Manual mode, 1/1000, f/5.6, Auto ISO, AWB, AI Servo, Evaluative metering, High-Speed shutter, 1000X 32GB CF only (SD card removed to improve buffer dump), RAW

Note that I'm typically outfitted with a 5D3 body and a 400 f/5.6 L prime lens or sometimes my 70-300 L zoom, with or without a Kenko 1.4X teleconverter, on and off tripod. I'm saving for a 600mm, but alas, that may be a long wait...

Thanks again for offering your advice and for the helpful members who've chimed in with their 2 cents.



24
Lenses / Re: Short tele for street portraits in Southeast Asia
« on: January 24, 2014, 08:14:18 AM »
I'm shooting in SE Asia right now, where I've been for over 3 months. The 24-105 cannot be beat for focal range versatility and not having to change lenses out on the street. That said, I also brought a 35mm f/2 (smaller, lighter, cheaper than L) and it has quickly become my favorite street lens--when and if you can get up close and personal. At home I have a 100L and love it to death, but travel requires doing more with less.

25
Software & Accessories / Re: Joby strap
« on: September 05, 2013, 06:43:18 PM »
I have the Joby and use it with the 5D3 + 24-105 and 70-300L. Comfortable, secure, well made. I recommend it.

26
Software & Accessories / Re: JPEG as a travel alternative
« on: September 01, 2013, 01:43:16 PM »
Sounds awesome. I wish I could do similar trips. When you're going? How detailed trip plan you already have, or do you just go around without much plan?

I fly on Nov 4 and I NEVER have a plan or reservations (other than airline). Serendipity rules. One issue I'm running into again is that Vietnam, Burma and China still won't let me cross their borders on my bike, so if I want to visit them, I have to fly in like everyone else. Any interest in meeting up in Yangon for a photo-tour of Myanmar?

27
Software & Accessories / Re: JPEG as a travel alternative
« on: September 01, 2013, 11:00:29 AM »
Honestly, I would stock up on CF cards and get a backup drive that reads straight from the card.  (Colorspace makes a nice one). 

I would leave the laptop at home unless you absolutely need to edit images while on the trip (You mentioned you might not have much electricity) Go light and get souvenirs and meet people.

When you get home you can take a week and just go through images.  Spend your time on the road making images and enjoying your trip.  Save the editing for when you get back home.

I have to have a laptop too, which is why I carry the smallest one out there (11-in MacBook Air), because I write travel stories and design/post web pages from the road. This means doing basic sorting and image editing both for my website and for a newspaper I freelance for. I also upload my GPS tracks to LR4 on the laptop, so that I can encode each image with location data. I've been doing this for years and have developed an efficient workflow, so it doesn't draw much time away from the more important travel experience. In fact, spending so many months alone on the road, often not speaking the local language and confined to my tent at night (rain, bugs, middle of nowhere, etc.), I find looking through the day's catch enhances the experience and helps me learn what to do/not do the next day, with regards to photographic technique.

Oh, and there's not one cubic centimeter of space available for souvenirs--so my photos serve that purpose.

28
Software & Accessories / Re: JPEG as a travel alternative
« on: August 31, 2013, 10:32:49 PM »
Small portable solar panel to trickle charge your devices? Then you don't need to worry about power consumption.

I've looked into these, but the ones that put out adequate power are quite bulky and heavy. I can, depending on which bike I'm riding, charge a camera battery off of the engine while moving, but it's awkward and again, only possible on certain bikes.

29
Software & Accessories / Re: JPEG as a travel alternative
« on: August 31, 2013, 08:59:42 PM »
Enjoy the trip - where's the next one?

Thanks for the tips, Frodo; always good to hear from a fellow traveler/motorcyclist. I'm heading back (my second trip) to SE Asia in Nov for 3-4 months. Most of my travels are off-road, camping in tiny villages or in the backcountry, hence the lack of amenities--like electrons.

wockawocka. My largest CF is a 1000X 32GB Lexar, but like you say, it wouldn't hurt to get either more cards or larger capacity cards. I'm just uneasy about having a full, 128 GB card go south on me; that's a lot of lost images. And to answer your question, yes, I do quite a bit of time lapse using a Satechi intervalometer.

30
Software & Accessories / Re: JPEG as a travel alternative
« on: August 31, 2013, 01:17:42 PM »
Another idea:
I don't travel with a notebook, I look at my "harvest" at home.
In other words: what about leaving the notebook at home and carry some more CF and/or SD cards?
Mail and social contacts every smartphone could do.

On shorter trips I do just that, but when I'm out for months I need the notebook (an exceedingly diminutive 11-inch MacBook Air) to write and post to the web. I don't carry any sort of phone. Carrying extra CF cards is a good idea, for it would allow me to keep the computer/HDD turned off for a longer period of time. Thanks.

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